10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Rwanda
Have you ever wondered why Rwanda is renowned as an exceptional tourism destination you should not miss on your bucket list? The land of a thousand hills offers it all you need on your African safari. Having been blessed with beautiful sceneries, rare animal and bird species, mountains, valleys, water bodies, interesting history and hospitable people, Rwanda is undeniable worth visiting. The availability of wildlife, vegetation, people, history, culture and traditions make rwanda safaris exceptional. Rwanda air’s direct flights to United Kingdom, United States of America, and several West African countries have made transport to and from Rwanda quick and cheap. The major reasons you should visit Rwanda include among others:
Being one of the only 3 countries in the world with mountain gorillas, Rwanda’s unique specie of these gentle giants is worthy coming on top of Rwanda’s main tourist attractions that you need to come and visit. Rwanda’s mountain gorillas are found in their hilly home of Volcanoes National Park in the North of the country. They are habituated according to the families they belong to and therefore you will be allocated to track a single family a day since you will be permitted to spend only one hour with them. You will enjoy every single moment you spend with these gentle giants and good enough they are already familiar with their visitors and they keep in a close range with them while minding their business in eating, playing and teasing one another. Though you will not be allowed to get any closer to them than seven meters, you will definitely feel enough associated with them within this breathtaking and unforgettable hour.
Closely related to the mountain gorillas in the volcanoes are the three more species of primate; Chimpanzees, black-and-white colobus monkeys and the endangered golden monkey. Embarking on primate tracking after trekking the gorillas will just make your Rwanda safari experience more fantastic. Rwanda’s Chimpanzees which also live in their different groups can be found in the canopies of Nyungwe Forest National Park and finding them swinging through the branches of the trees in tis dense forest and others running and walking on the ground will give you your full dream view of these astonishing species. The forest is also the home to the beautiful black-and-white colobus while the rare golden monkey is found in very few places outside the park.
Plenty of game is available for viewing in Akagera National Park with Lake Ihema in the background to ensure that you also don’t miss the magnificent water species especially the hippos. Game drives through the park allow you to view a lot of game including elephants, giraffes, zebras, buffaloes and a variety of antelope species. Though the cats are rarely seen, on your lucky day you will be able to see leopards, jackals and spotted hyenas. On top of your game safari at Akagera National Park, you can go for an afternoon boat cruise on Lake Ihema that will allow you to encounter some aquatic wildlife like Hippos and Crocodiles as well as the game that come to drink water along the shores of the Lake.
The Congo Nile Trail
This is a trail along Lake Kivu that extends from Rubavu and continues through Rutsiro via the Karongi and Nyamasheke districts and ends up in Rusizi. Along the trail you go along a beautiful landscape of rolling hills and clear water.
Nyungwe Forest Canopy Walk
This metallic walkway is almost is almost 200m long with a maximum height of around 40m. It is similar to the famous one in Ghana’s Kakum National Park with a suspension between higher slopes and giant trees about 1km from Uwinka. While on this canopy walk, you are offered a superb bird’s eye views into and over a steep stream bed lined with tall trees and ferns. There is full fun here though sometimes it may feel unstable especially in windy weather and those with a poor head for heights may be advised not to get on board in such times.
You cannot miss the fantastic birding experience in Rwanda because the country is among Africa’s most exciting destinations with over 1,500 bird species for your discovery and of these, 27 are Albertine Rift Endemics. Some of the most exciting birds that you should miss include the red-faced barbet, shoebill stork, Bennett’s woodpecker, papyrus gonolek, and the miombo wren-warblers. Rwanda has her seven Important Birding Areas that include the three national parks of Akagera, Nyungwe and Volcanoes. Others are Rugezi swamp, Akanyaru, Nyabarongo and Cyamudong.
In addition to gorilla tracking and game safari in Rwanda, her people will also play their part to make your Rwanda trip complete. Right from a warm welcome you receive from these friendly people, they straightaway introduce you to their traditions. Music and dance are part of and parcel of culture in Rwanda and their performances range from bravery demonstrations and prowess to humorous songs and rural agricultural artistry. A harp-like instrument locally known as lulungu with eight strings usually accompanies traditional songs and other jubilant dances are supported by a drum orchestra with seven to nine members and collectively produce a hypnotic and exciting explosion of a joyous rhythm.
These consist of a series of festivities around the county and they really make Rwanda so unique and guests from all over the region flock in to be part of these exciting and breathtaking festivals. Most of them fall in the northern summer months and at least everyone can have a moment to enjoy, including catching up with some of the big names in African music. Other lovely ones include fashion festivals where you can go and freshen up your wardrobe, you may also decide to see a local movie at “Hillywood”, or dance at the Hobe Rwanda festivals. You can also choose to celebrate the world-famous gorillas while enjoying natural wonders and conservation success at the famous “Kwita Izina”, the gorilla naming ceremony.
The city of Kigali which also Rwanda’s capital city is worthy paying a visit especially when you consider that today it is ranked among the fast growing and above all the cleanest city in Africa. The city does not only boast about development and cleanness, visitors can decide to explore the great cultural activities around the city including different award-winning museums, burgeoning music scene together with some of East Africa’s most memorable dining experiences.
Genocide Memorials Visit
With just less than three decades after the genocide terror that paralyzed everything in Rwanda and its cost cannot be properly estimated after claiming more than 800000 lives, toady Rwanda is worthy visiting purposely for this cause. Today the tale of the genocide has united the people of Rwanda like never before as they have all adopted the nationally accepted saying of “NEVER AGAIN” which shows how strongly and determined they are to ensure that such a tragedy does not happen again. The most amazing and the main reason that attracts a traveller is the rate at which the country has developed into a status they have attained internationally in all her sectors since the end of the terror. Considering the level of development Rwanda has attained today you barely believe that she was the same country at the receiving end of the ruthless massacres during the genocide, that is why the genocide memorials have been set up in different parts of the country just to remind the nationals and also to show her visitors this dark part of her history. The visit to these memorials not only remind visitors about the tragedy but also teach them a lesson in fighting against any harp evil that may result into such a debacle. The city of Kigali has got several genocide memorials that can be visited especially by those who may not want travel far including the one at Gisozi where 259000 victims have been buried.
In general, Rwanda offers it all to meet, satisfy and exceed every traveler’s expectations. Book a Rwanda safari for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National park, chimpanzee trekking and canopy walk in Nyungwe forest national park, cultural tours, bird watching, volcano climbing and a memorable Kigali city tour rewarding you with a life changing experience.